Monthly Archives: November 2012

Upper Deck creates exclusive UD Infinite Promo Cards for 2013 Industry Summit

TigerExc

Limited-Edition Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Robert Griffin III cards can be secured by registering for the event early
Carlsbad, CA (November 29, 2012) – Upper Deck is celebrating the launch of the company’s new UD Infinite brand with three special cards available to early retailer registrants to the 2013 Industry Summit. Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Robert Griffin III will be featured on these super-premium, extra thick trading cards sequentially numbered to just 150 total copies.

These three exclusive cards will be sent to retailers in early 2013 as an advance gift for signing up for the massive trading card conference taking place in Las Vegas at the Orleans Hotel from March 17-20. Only the first 150 retailers to register for the industry’s annual trade conference (www.theindustrysummit.com) can receive these special cards.

“Upper Deck has been incredibly supportive of The Industry Summit, and this special reward for our first 150 retailer registrants will certainly build momentum for The Summit and the UD Infinite brand,” Summit host Kevin Isaacson said. “I can’t wait to see what happens when these limited cards of Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Robert Griffin III appear in the marketplace.”
“The Industry Summit has become one of the most important events of the year for hobby shop owners throughout the United States and Canada,” said Mike Phillips, Upper Deck’s vice president of sales. “We hope these special cards help provide some additional buzz and value for those attending the Summit. As many retailers know who have taken part in the event in the past, special offers like this are just part of the way that manufacturers like Upper Deck can help offset some of the costs for retailers to attend the show. And this is just the first of many special offers we will have for store owners.”
To qualify for the UD Infinite promo pack promotion, hobby retailers can register at www.theindustrysummit.com or by contacting the Summit office at 715-584-4939.
About Upper Deck
Upper Deck is the leading sports and entertainment trading card and Collectibles Company. For more information on Upper Deck and its products please visit www.upperdeck.com

About The Industry Summit
The annual trade conference for professionals in the trading card and sports collectible industries, The Industry Summit brings together more than 400 proven leaders each March. To learn more about the Summit or preview this year’s business program, please visit www.theindustrysummit.com

GriffinExc

Hobby impact of Panini Black Friday: $1.9 million

LCS sales increased 26% over 2011 debut

LAS VEGAS (Nov. 27, 2012) – Panini America’s Black Friday promotion was directly attributable to $1.9 million in incremental hobby sales, a 26% increase over 2011’s debut promotion, according to research conducted by The Industry Summit (www.theindustrysummit.com)
A key sales driver: Retailers’ aggressive planning and utilization of social media to promote Black Friday activities. The Summit’s research determined that, while sales of Panini products were similar to 2011 levels, retailers increased overall sales via more effective conversion of Black Friday’s increased store traffic.

“The Black Friday packs definitely bring people in,’’ said Eddie Barkley of Eddie’s Sports Treasures (Knoxville, TN). “It has been a great promotion, and I appreciated it dearly.’’
Panini executives were understandably elated. “It’s clear from the preliminary feedback we have received from shops that the Panini Black Friday promotion helped deliver their single biggest day of the year and an enthusiastic level of energy to their stores,’’ said D.J. Kazmierczak, Panini VP/sales.
Among this year’s Top 3 Black Friday assessments:
1. Black Friday is firmly embedded as an industry sales driver. Leading online retailers such as Dave & Adam’s Card World and Blowout Cards executed significant programs – “a massive online turnout,’’ according to Blowout’s Tom Fish — while Panini’s bonus pack program and social media leverage have integrated Black Friday as a benchmark event at local card stores throughout the US. Scott Monize of Southeastern Sports Cards (New Bedford, MA) reported a 200% increase in store traffic, while Steve Cardi of The Card Shack (Lynbrook, NY) sold through his Panini inventory during the weekend.

2.Retailers’ integration of social media is paying huge dividends. Sparked by engaging seminars at the 2012 Industry Summit, card store owners across the U.S. and Canada have integrated e-mail newsletters, Facebook pages and Twitter promotions into their weekly marketing programs. Thanks to an aggressive online promotion – which included several reminder emails – Patty Tsang of Alameda (CA) Sports Cards and Comics reported a 25% annual increase in Black Friday sales, while Jerry McClusky noted that his Facebook and email promotions are helping his Rookie Shop thrive in a “small store, in a very small market.’’

3.Retailers will challenge Panini to infuse more flexibility in its Black Friday and Father’s Day promotions, potentially by including the company’s most successful releases and/or reflecting a retailer’s annualized purchases in the allocation of promotional packs. “Customers don’t understand why they don’t get packs for all Panini product,’’ noted Ron Florey of Triple Play (Westerville, OH). According to Kazmierczak, Panini is committed in creating more retailer flexibility within both promotions. “There is no doubt that there will be another level of evolution in the future,’’ he said.
Meantime, Panini executives are understandably pleased with the increased level of Black Friday engagement of store owners and their collector customers.
“Our goal, since day one, has been and continues to be to get hobby shops engaged and take part in what is the biggest retail shopping day of the year – Black Friday — and to build a level of energy and excitement for collectors to have an event that they can be a part of at their local hobby shop,’’ Kazmierczak said.

Things We Like: Black Friday, Mike Phillips & GTS exclusives

Welcome to the Industry Summit’s weekly assessment of “Things We Like’’ – our way to celebrate innovation & progress in the trading card and collectible industry.

THINGS WE LIKE: NOV 16 2012

1. The emergence of Black Friday as a hobby sales phenomenon. Hundreds of retailers are aggressively promoting their Black Friday events through social media and email (check out @SEsportscards for an example), while leading online players such as DACardWorld and Blowout Cards are leveraging sales via “pre-Black Friday’’ offers. Huge props to @Panini America for elevating Black Friday’s promise throughout our industry.

2. Upper Deck’s promotion of Mike Phillips to VP/sales. The point person for UD’s distribution realignment, Phillips deserves credit for vision & willingness to innovate.

3. Utilizing current events – and social media – to drive store traffic. Mike Fruitman at Mike’s Stadium Sports (CO), via an e-mail newsletter promo, gave his customers $5 off on any $70+ wax box when they displayed an “I VOTED’’ sticker at his store on Election Day. Great way to transition a trip to the voting booth into trading-card sales.

4. GTS Distribution’s recent announcements of customer-exclusive offers from Leaf and Upper Deck. Focusing the sales effort toward added value is a winner for all involved.

5. OCSportscards’ continuing progress as a source for in-person autograph events. Lance & the team have definitely identified a “golden ticket’’ to leverage their brand in the competitive SoCal market. (Wonka reference will make more sense later today).
Your nominations for “Things We Like” are welcome & encouraged – let us know at @industry_summit or via email @icgsports@charter.net

Panini, Peach State bring Trent Richardson to 2012 Summit

Leaf Golf to sponsor Peach State ‘putting competition’ at Industry Summit
Champion to be featured on 2012 Leaf Golf card – and all attendees can take a picture with an authentic MASTERS green jacket!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CARROLLTON, TEXAS (March 14, 2012) – Leaf Trading Cards (www.leaftradingcards.com) is sponsoring a putting competition at the Peach State Sports (www.peachstatesports.com) booth for retailers at the 2012 Industry Summit. The Grand Prize winner will be featured on an autographed 2012 Leaf Golf card! No one will walk away empty-handed.
During booth hours, each registered retailer will have one opportunity to sink a 20-25 foot putt. Those who do sink it will have a putt-off on Wednesday morning to determine a Grand Prize winner as well as a runner up. The Grand Prize winner will have his/her own autograph card in 2012 Leaf Golf. The Grand Prize winner will also have a choice of either 1) a personally owned golf club from Michael Jordan’s private set, or 2) a Jack Nicklaus tournament used club. The runner up will receive the remaining prize. As a consolation prize, those who do not sink their initial putt will receive one advanced release of a 2012 Leaf Metal Golf autograph card.

In addition, Leaf is bringing to the event an authentic Masters Green Jacket from former member and famed automotive pioneer, John DeLorean. Leaf recently acquired this incredible piece of golf memorabilia and is offering all attendees an opportunity to be photographed with this iconic golf relic.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Leaf on such an innovative and fun promotion”, said Peach State Sports President Jim Grant. “The release of 2012 Leaf Golf, just in time for the 2012 Masters, will be a big winner for Leaf and our industry’s retailers. We would like to thank Leaf for giving the grand prize winning retailer the once in a lifetime opportunity to have their very own trading card inserted into an upcoming golf product.”

2012 Leaf Metal Golf is a soon to be released product featuring technology which Leaf boasts as the industry standard for technology driven card sets. Featuring on-card signatures of 49 past and present personalities from the men’s and women’s PGA and European Tours, Leaf Metal Golf aims to become the golf product by which all others are measured. With low serial-numbered cards of legendary players such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player as well as first autograph cards of up and coming Tour stars such as Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley, Brendan Steele, Matteo Manassero, Webb Simpson and 2011 FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas, Leaf Metal Golf has something for every golf and autograph enthusiast.

“Leaf is excited to participate in this fun promotion with one of our distributors, Peach State Sports,’’ said Leaf CEO Brian Gray. “I am even more excited to see the putting skills of conference attendees.

At the very least, every retailer who participates will be among the first people to celebrate the return of Golf with an autographed 2012 Leaf Metal Golf card days before release to the general public.”

Leaf, Peach State bring authentic Masters jacket to Summit

Leaf Golf to sponsor Peach State ‘putting competition’ at Industry Summit
Champion to be featured on 2012 Leaf Golf card – and all attendees can take a picture with an authentic MASTERS green jacket!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CARROLLTON, TEXAS (March 14, 2012) – Leaf Trading Cards (www.leaftradingcards.com) is sponsoring a putting competition at the Peach State Sports (www.peachstatesports.com) booth for retailers at the 2012 Industry Summit. The Grand Prize winner will be featured on an autographed 2012 Leaf Golf card! No one will walk away empty-handed.
During booth hours, each registered retailer will have one opportunity to sink a 20-25 foot putt. Those who do sink it will have a putt-off on Wednesday morning to determine a Grand Prize winner as well as a runner up. The Grand Prize winner will have his/her own autograph card in 2012 Leaf Golf. The Grand Prize winner will also have a choice of either 1) a personally owned golf club from Michael Jordan’s private set, or 2) a Jack Nicklaus tournament used club. The runner up will receive the remaining prize. As a consolation prize, those who do not sink their initial putt will receive one advanced release of a 2012 Leaf Metal Golf autograph card.

In addition, Leaf is bringing to the event an authentic Masters Green Jacket from former member and famed automotive pioneer, John DeLorean. Leaf recently acquired this incredible piece of golf memorabilia and is offering all attendees an opportunity to be photographed with this iconic golf relic.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Leaf on such an innovative and fun promotion”, said Peach State Sports President Jim Grant. “The release of 2012 Leaf Golf, just in time for the 2012 Masters, will be a big winner for Leaf and our industry’s retailers. We would like to thank Leaf for giving the grand prize winning retailer the once in a lifetime opportunity to have their very own trading card inserted into an upcoming golf product.”

2012 Leaf Metal Golf is a soon to be released product featuring technology which Leaf boasts as the industry standard for technology driven card sets. Featuring on-card signatures of 49 past and present personalities from the men’s and women’s PGA and European Tours, Leaf Metal Golf aims to become the golf product by which all others are measured. With low serial-numbered cards of legendary players such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player as well as first autograph cards of up and coming Tour stars such as Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley, Brendan Steele, Matteo Manassero, Webb Simpson and 2011 FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas, Leaf Metal Golf has something for every golf and autograph enthusiast.

“Leaf is excited to participate in this fun promotion with one of our distributors, Peach State Sports,’’ said Leaf CEO Brian Gray. “I am even more excited to see the putting skills of conference attendees.

At the very least, every retailer who participates will be among the first people to celebrate the return of Golf with an autographed 2012 Leaf Metal Golf card days before release to the general public.”

Summit Q&A: 5 questions with MagX’s Roger Barry

5 questions with Roger Barry of The Magazine Exchange

LAS VEGAS (February 22, 2012) — This week’s INDUSTRY SUMMIT Q&A is with Roger Barry, owner of The Magazine Exchange, a leading sports card and trading card game distributor based in Grants Pass, OR. Barry, 54 and in his 35th year at the company, has utilized his considerable marketing and promotional skills to keep The Magazine Exchange at the forefront of industry distribution. He answered these five unscripted questions from Industry Summit host Kevin Isaacson:

Q. Let’s be honest: Grants Pass, Oregon, is not the premiere location for a nationally-focused distribution company. How have you survived, and thrived, given that your warehouse is well outside the mainstream?

A. A close friend in the business always referred to us as her “geographically handicapped distributor.’’ So yes, we’ve always had to work differently, and perhaps work harder, than some of our competitors. Early on, in the mid-1980s, before our industry had any real structured or authorized distribution, we saw that need and began to position ourselves as a company that could fill that role. To this day, we continue to anticipate what our partners will need, and then work hard to provide it.

Q. Retailers have many options for sourcing product. Why do your customers chose Magazine Exchange?

A. We concentrate on the things we do well – sports trading cards and trading card games. We don’t handle 3000 other licensed products. We try to remain focused on what we do best and on what generates the most revenue for our customers. They know we have Panini, Topps, Upper Deck, Wizards of the Coast, Konami – and they know we are well-versed on those product lines, and a good source for those product lines.

I think a big part of our longevity is that we really try to not burn bridges, and try to represent the brands we sell in a positive way – the way the manufacturer wants them represented. We have been working with a lot of these shops since the 1980s, so they know that they can rely on us to deliver what we promise.
Also, the shops have begun to realize the benefit of buying from a true distributor, someone who does not have a retail website or compete with them in any way. You can’t be a true partner if you are also a competitor.

Q. Magazine Exchange has always been an aggressive marketer – taking front-page advertisements in trade publications, investing in unique store-sign opportunities and hosting special events at The Industry Summit. Why do you promote more aggressively than many of your competitors?

A. It goes back to being geographically handicapped. If I may steal something from Apple, we have to “think different.” Part of it is our commitment to our suppliers. We like to represent the brands that we sell in a positive way. We like to do things for Topps or Panini or Upper Deck, and conversely, we like to do things for the shops that do business with us. I am often asked, “How can you justify the cost of that Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer sign, or that Topps Allen & Ginter sign?’’ In my mind, not everything has to be a profit center. I am willing to invest in things that strengthen our industry, and I believe that if our industry grows, we will find a way to profit eventually. And honestly, it’s just fun: I enjoy being the guy with the innovative campaign, the guy with the Yu-gi-Oh! sign. It’s fun to send it out to customers, to get their reactions, and to know that 20 years from now, that sign will still be hanging in a store window. It’s part of our role in the industry, and it’s fun to represent our partners positively in the marketplace.

Q. Time for our “King of the Industry’’ question. If you could make one change in our business, what would you choose to address?

A. Ask everyone to focus on their business and improving what they do – and not worry so much about what everyone else is doing. I have learned to be happy when my competitors are doing well, because hopefully, that means the business as a whole is growing. Adversarial relationships are damaging to our industry. Instead of doing our life’s best work, something we can take pride in, some people in our business seem focused on attacking others. That doesn’t serve the business well at all.
Also, I’d go back 35 years and change our company name. While it works for us now, it provides an initial obstacle that is even more significant than our geographic location.
Q. What is the best single innovation or advancement in our business during the past 12 months?
A. Simple: Panini’s Black Friday promotion. It brought people into hobby shops, it allowed us to engage with the shops, it promoted additional sales, and it delivered for the shops that participated. We had tons of positive feedback; several stores reported their best sales day ever! It increased our sales on all Panini products – not just those featured in the promotion. Could Panini improve on some elements of the promotion for future years? Of course. But it was a great promotion, and we believe the store traffic it created is something we should strive to repeat and increase in the future. The nature of our business demands that we create exciting in-store events, and this was a good example of what we can accomplish by working together and driving customers into stores for a great collecting experience.

Opening panel to feature Sapir, Warsop, Gaeta, Masherah, Hoashi

Opening panel to feature Warsop, Sapir, Masherah, Hoashi, Gaeta

LAS VEGAS (March 5, 2012) – Executives from five leading trading card companies have agreed to participate on a “future of the category’’ panel discussion to launch the 2012 Industry Summit.

The “Fearless Forecast’’ panel, which will open the Summit’s business session on Monday, March 19, features these distinguished executives:

Mark Warsop, CEO, Panini America.
Mark Sapir, VP, The Topps Company.
Jason Masherah, VP, Upper Deck.
Yumi Hoashi, VP, Konami Digital Entertainment.
Scott Gaeta, COO, Cryptozoic Entertainment.
Summit host Kevin Isaacson will moderate the discussion, which will cover topics ranging from retail shelf space to hobby shop development/diversification and the potential for additional direct-to-consumer business.

“This discussion will provide a compelling snapshot of our business’ short-term future,’’ Isaacson said. “I am very interested to see which discussion points generate consensus among the panelists – as well as those which indicate a unique perspective from one or more executives.’’sign. It’s fun to send it out to customers, to get their reactions, and to know that 20 years from now, that sign will still be hanging in a store window. It’s part of our role in the industry, and it’s fun to represent our partners positively in the marketplace.

Q. Time for our “King of the Industry’’ question. If you could make one change in our business, what would you choose to address?

A. Ask everyone to focus on their business and improving what they do – and not worry so much about what everyone else is doing. I have learned to be happy when my competitors are doing well, because hopefully, that means the business as a whole is growing. Adversarial relationships are damaging to our industry. Instead of doing our life’s best work, something we can take pride in, some people in our business seem focused on attacking others. That doesn’t serve the business well at all.
Also, I’d go back 35 years and change our company name. While it works for us now, it provides an initial obstacle that is even more significant than our geographic location.
Q. What is the best single innovation or advancement in our business during the past 12 months?
A. Simple: Panini’s Black Friday promotion. It brought people into hobby shops, it allowed us to engage with the shops, it promoted additional sales, and it delivered for the shops that participated. We had tons of positive feedback; several stores reported their best sales day ever! It increased our sales on all Panini products – not just those featured in the promotion. Could Panini improve on some elements of the promotion for future years? Of course. But it was a great promotion, and we believe the store traffic it created is something we should strive to repeat and increase in the future. The nature of our business demands that we create exciting in-store events, and this was a good example of what we can accomplish by working together and driving customers into stores for a great collecting experience.

Ultimate Case Break to debut at 2012 Industry Summit

‘Ultimate Case Break’ to debut at 2012 Summit

Panini America, GTS Distribution, Beckett, Ultra Pro, Cardboard Connection lend expertise to social media-driven event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LAS VEGAS (March 7, 2012) – Trading card enthusiasts from across the U.S. and Canada can join in the fun as their Local Card Store owners participate in the industry’s first Ultimate Case Break at the 2012 Industry Summit, the annual trade conference for card and collectible professionals.

The Panini America/GTS Ultimate Case Break will highlight more than 100 local card store owners as they break an unrivaled cache of Panini America licensed product from the MLBPA, NBA, NFL, NFL PLAYERS, NHL and the NHLPA. Panini America’s Tracy Hackler and GTS Distribution (www.gtsdistribution.com) principals Lloyd Kee and Steve Snyder will serve as event co-hosts.

“Case breaks whether in-store or across social media platforms reinforce the sense of community that collecting and breaking product brings to the category. The Panini America/GTS Ultimate Case Break will reinforce the strength social media can have in getting collectors to participate and the ability to generate buzz for the category,” said Jason Howarth, Vice President of Marketing, Panini America.

As a “hobby exclusive’’ promotion, the Ultimate Case Break is available exclusively to Industry Summit registered attendees and their customers – and is designed to engage card and collectible enthusiasts throughout the 2012 Summit’s opening event (March 18, Las Vegas’ Orleans Hotel & Casino, www.regonline.com/2012summit).

As a direct result of this event, Panini America and GTS Distribution will generate scholarships resulting in 20 first-time attendees at the 2013 Industry Summit.

An activation overview:

As excitement for the Summit builds, Panini America and GTS will reveal the product lineup for each sport’s Ultimate Case Break. Retailers attending the Summit can register to win their favorite team’s cards, and GTS will provide retailers with tools to launch their own in-store case-break promotions. Look for an email from Industry Summit organizers with specifics on how to secure your spot in the event.
Panini America and GTS will allocate a spot in each sport’s “break’’ for collectors following online.
Panini America will partner with Cardboard Connection to provide two different live video streams during the event, and both will be actively covering the action via Facebook and Twitter.
The live case break will feature Summit attendees opening a $15,000 cache of just-released Panini America product, live from the Summit show floor. Our network of bloggers and social media activists, led by Panini America and Cardboard Connection, will provide timely updates via Twitter and Facebook, and collectors can watch their Local Hobby Store’s break live at: http://www.ustream.tv/user/PaniniAmerica and http://www.ustream.tv/user/CardboardConnection
Beckett Media will provide pricing analysis on every high-profile “pull,’’ and Beckett Grading Services will provide free grading and encapsulation to every Ultimate Break participant. In addition, UltraPRO International is providing card protectors to every Case Break participant.
“We are pleased that so many of our industry partners are excited about participating in our Ultimate Case Break,’’ said Lloyd Kee, GTS vice president. “It will be a great event for the industry – more than 100 retailers ripping through some incredible Panini America product, and actively engaging with their customers through social media sites in the process. We can’t wait!’’

Summit Q&A: 5 Questions with Topps executive David Reel

Summit Q&A: 5 questions with Topps’ David Reel

LAS VEGAS (March 16, 2012) – Our final “5 Questions’’ segment leading up to the 2012 Industry Summit is with David Reel, who has served as Topps Director of Hobby Sales since 2008. Reel, 44, joined the industry after serving as sales manager at Honeywell International, Inc. He is responsible for all Topps hobby sales and business relationships with hobby distributors and HTA stores in the US and abroad, and answered these 5 questions from Summit host Kevin Isaacson.

Q. It’s fair to say this Topps company, circa 2012, is markedly different from 2010 – many staffing changes, notably a new CEO, new GM, new VP/sales. Give us some insight into how these changes have impacted day-to-day business, and how that impact retailers and collectors during the next year.

A. The changes have been positive, helping us to deliver products on time, and with higher quality than in the past. Day to day, there is a higher level of accountability and responsibility throughout the business, and that culture change has been positive for the business also.

Q. Topps has been as aggressive as any manufacturer in exploring direct-to-consumer sales. Share your assessment of the Topps’ direct-to-consumer selling thus far, and how you expect those efforts to evolve/increase over the next 24 months.

A. Topps will continue to take an approach of testing opportunities that could eventually help to expand the consumer base. (Direct to consumer sales) is one of those opportunities that will help us serve customers who don’t have access to major retailers or hobby stores or, for whatever reason, are not having those needs met through those channels. But I would also say that our primary and preferred core business is still hobby product, sold primarily to hobby stores.

Q. Brick-and-mortar retailers have responded positively to distribution-focused initiatives from your competitors, notably a 7-day early sales window. What enhancements is Topps planning to its partnership with the hobby channel in 2012?

A. We will continue to invest in our HTA program, which is the longest-running hobby store program of any manufacturer. As far as distribution changes: We understand that there are some positive benefits of other recently announced programs, and continue to evaluate our program. There are significant costs involved in a distribution program that would, among other things, allow us to track and monitor how and when product is moving through the marketplace. We are choosing, at present, to allocate those resources into our products – and we are all pleased with the market’s response to many of our releases during the past year-plus.

Q. Let’s play “King of the Industry’’ for a moment: From an industry-wide perspective, what would you like to accomplish or improve across the hobby segment during 2012?

A. A higher level of commitment from all manufacturers to create collectible products. Responsible selling from distributors. Great customer service from retailers. And across the business, very aggressive promoting. I want to see everyone involved in this business maximizing their opportunities and ROI … and it will take a more focused, disciplined effort for all of us to accomplish that.

Q. Finally, a question that should be right in the wheelhouse: What Topps product, promotion or initiative have you found most rewarding during the past 6 months, and why?

A. Easy answer: Our products. Topps has really raised the bar with our product portfolio, and continues to do so. Our core brands are performing at a high level, and we have introduced new brands like Gypsy Queen, and re-invented others like Triple Threads, that have performed at levels that we haven’t seen in a long time. And it’s important to say that we owe a lot of that success to our customers. We wouldn’t have been able to make those improvements without getting a tremendous amount of input from collectors who are passionate about Topps products. It’s a lot of fun to work in a business where our product continually meets and exceeds our customers’ expectations.Summit Q&A: 5 Questions with Topps executive David Reel

MLBPA’s Kaplan to conduct Distribution Seminar at 2013 Summit

MLBPA’s Kaplan to conduct Distributor Q&A at 2013 Summit

LAS VEGAS (March 23, 2013) – Less than 48 hours after the 2012 Industry Summit’s farewell message, organizers have already confirmed a featured interactive session in the Summit’s 2013 business program.
Evan Kaplan, Director of Licensing and Business Development at the Major League Baseball Players Association, has agreed to conduct a Q&A session with representatives of every authorized distribution company serving the trading card industry. The 2013 Industry Summit is scheduled March 17-20, 2013.

“I want to open the floor and let the distributors explain what they offer hobby shops,’’ Kaplan said. “They are so many distribution options in our industry today … I want the attendees to have an opportunity to hear from the distributors and to understand which companies provide the highest levels of service and promotional support.’’

Kaplan and Summit host Kevin Isaacson decided to announce the 2013 Distribution Q&A now to underscore the critical role that distributor evolution plays in the industry’s growth. Isaacson said he expects the wholesale community to make significant advancements in the communication, training and promotion services they offer throughout the next 12 months.

“Going forward, competition among distributors will focus much less on product and price, and much more on additional value provided to both suppliers and customers,’’ Isaacson said. “We observed many creative advancements during this year’s Summit – and several distributors have already committed to new investments and staffing in the marketing and technology areas. It will be interesting, and quite revealing, to assess the impact of these developments during Evan’s Q&A at our 2013 Industry Summit.’’